It's easy to get swept up with major Hollywood stars this time of year, gazing at the red carpet and thinking of these celebs as superhuman megastars, but even the biggest names around got their starts in less glamorous ways. Before their Oscars and Emmys, these stars had Pop Tarts and Lisa Frank.
1. Ben Affleck
Dig those smooth moves and that hip phone! The two-time Oscar winner starred in this Burger King commercial before becoming the megastar we know today from films like Good Will Hunting and Gone Girl. His next role may be playing Batman, but now we'll always think of him as this bad boy who breaks the rules.
2. Brad Pitt
It may be crazy to see a superstar like Brad Pitt shelling for potato chips, but if you think about it, not much has really changed for the Oscar-winning Fight Club star since this Pringles commercial: he still looks good enough to make our mouths water.
3. Jennifer Lawrence
Since starring in this commercial for MTV's Super Sweet 16, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence has taught those boys how to properly carry her around on her throne, where this Oscar-winning actress belongs.
4. Stanley Tucci
We've always loved The Devil Wears Prada's Stanley Tucci, but seeing him young and hunky in this Levi's commercial made us love him even more.
5. Steve Carell
Steve Carell may have received his first Oscar nomination for his dramatic role in Foxcatcher, but this commercial shows that he's at his best when he's being funny and lovable.
6. Leonardo DiCaprio
We're like 97% sure we'd take our pants off immediately if Leo came up to us now and told us to "keep it poppin" or to "save some for Daddy." The 5-time Academy Award nominee is underrated even when it comes to his commercials.
7. Haley Joel Osment
We're just gonna throw this out there: The Sixth Sense could have been a much better movie if they'd stuck to the original line, "I see snack dragons." Just saying. Also, not even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle would eat a pizza that looks that gross, Kraft.
8. Naomi Watts
Young Naomi Watts, the two-time Academy Award nominee you know from films like Birdman and Mulholland Drive, was once a teenager with a thick Australian accent. Like most of us, the near-perfect actress worried about her skin, her figure, and "that one" problem we don't talk about.
9. Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone
"You sound like a commercial." "You buyin' it?" This is the greatest moment of either of their careers. Just kidding, Sharon Stone has gone on to many other performances that are just as good, if not better.
10. Mila Kunis
So, we guess we can thank Mila Kunis for helping make Lisa Frank such a thing in the 90s. It's hard to believe that the star was only two years away from her breakout role on That '70s Show.
11. Elijah Wood:
We've always had a lot of love for Elijah Wood's facial expressions. From Lord of the Rings to Wilfred, his face is sometimes the only thing that makes his performances entertaining. This commercial might just be his shining moment.
12. Kristen Stewart
We love how sassy Kristen Stewart is in this Porsche commercial -- that head nod and "duh" look on her face, as if she would lie about missing her bus, Dad. But secretly, she's all *Live Fast, Die Hard, Bad Girls, Do It Well* #YOLO. Performance of her career, honestly.
13. Meg Ryan
We would personally rather watch a never-ending loop of Meg Ryan's face appearing over the Burger King logo than watch Sleepless in Seattle.
14. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
How many times have we fantasized about the chance to be at Joseph Gordon Levitt's house with him making us breakfast in the morning? Countless. But we never imagined it could be as adorable and delicious as this 1991 Pop Tarts commercial makes it seem.
15. Tobey Maguire
Yo, Spider-Man is having an uncomfortable amount of fun in the bathroom.
16. Corey Feldman
This adorable McDonalds commercial from 1975 may have been heartwarming back then, but 40 years later, it just reminds us how much The Goonies star hasn't aged since he was 4.
17. Demi Moore
We're not sure if the Ghost star was trying to sell Diet Coke by convincing us we might fall in love, or if she was trying to warn us of the dangers and health problems that could arise from drinking it, but we still like it.
18. Keanu Reeves:
Eating cereal has seriously never looked more fun than it does in this commercial. We would love to eat Kelloggs Corn Flakes with Keanu, Matrix style.
19. Stephen Colbert
This ad seems like a news report, and we can totally see a lot of similarities between this FirsTier Bank commercial and The Colbert Report.
20. Matt LeBlanc
Okay, the best things might come to those who wait, but does the Friends star now have to run back up to the roof, or is he just gonna waste that whole bottle of ketchup just to look cool eating one hot dog? Joey. Doesn't. Waste. Food.
21. Courteney Cox
Fun fact: the Friends star was the first person to ever say "period" (referring to menstruation, not punctuation) on TV. She then broke down more boundaries by starring in terribly-named-but-not-actually-terrible TV shows, like Cougar Town.
22. Elisabeth Moss
Are we the only ones watching this commercial as if we're watching Pegy pitch an ad campaign on Mad Men? We can't be.
23. Sarah Michelle Gellar
This 4-year-old Sarah Michelle Gellar just slayed Burger King's competition faster than you could say "Buffy." Un-be-liev-able!
24. Bryan Cranston
Fans were amazed with how Bryan Cranston transformed from the lovable Hal on Malcolm in the Middle into the meth kingpin Heisenberg on Breaking Bad, but the truly incredible transformation of his career happened way earlier. The way he instantly goes from being a skunk to a human is absolutely astonishing.
25. Aaron Paul
This commercial seems like it could actually just be Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman waiting to eat his breakfast before heading off to Chemistry with Mr. White, doesn't it? Aaron Paul's gotta have his Pops, bitch!
26. Megan Mullally and John Goodman
We love Karen Walker enough to be able to recognize that incredible voice anywhere, even if it's some place strange, like a McDonalds commercial. While Karen would certainly never actually sell Egg McMuffins, we're pretty sure that Roseanne star John Goodman totally would.
27. Seth Green
We don't mean to diminish the abilities of our favorite werewolf from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or our favorite dimwitted cartoon son from Family Guy, but this is definitely Seth Green's brightest moment. That hair, the accent. He totally nails the 90s goon role with lines like, "Consequently, we can hit on 'em," and "Definitely - NOT!"
28. Tony Hale
Tony Hale won our hearts playing Buster on Arrested Development (and an Emmy playing Gary on Veep), and this commercial proves that he's made a career out of his hilarious concern regarding women's toiletries. We wonder if Gary's Leviathan on Veep has Herbal Essences.
29. Charlie Day
This quirky commercial for Cascade dishwasher detergent looks like Charlie Day just stepped out of an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Graduating and heading straight into retirement also seems like a total Charlie Kelly scheme, doesn't it?
30. Jane Lynch
Okay, the only thing we love more than Frosted Flakes and Tony the Tiger is this commercial with Glee star Jane Lynch camping out everyday trying to sneak a peak at the elusive mascot himself.
Late Cream star Jack Bruce's fans have been invited to cheer the arrival of his casket at his funeral on Wednesday (05Nov14). The service will be a private family affair at Golders Green Crematorium in north London, but devotees have been asked to show their support by greeting the bassist at the end of his final journey.
A post on the late rocker's website reads, "Jack's private funeral will be held on Wednesday 5th November at 10AM... He always liked a good audience, so fans are welcome to cheer his arrival at the final 'gig'."
Family representatives have also asked fans to make a donation to Bruce's favourite charity, the East Anglian Children's Hospice, in lieu of flowers.
The Cream star passed away on 25 October (14).
Hollywood action man Bruce Willis and director Robert Rodriguez teamed up for a special musical performance at an afterparty following the premiere of their new movie Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The pair has reunited for the Sin City sequel, which they unveiled in Los Angeles on Tuesday (19Aug14), and they entertained the crowd during a bash at the city's Roosevelt Hotel after the red carpet screening.
Willis played harmonica and sang the blues as Rodriguez played guitar, according to New York Post gossip column Page Six.
The crowd included Willis' castmates Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke and Josh Brolin.
YouTube/DimensionHorror, Dimension Films
The promotional campaign for the upcoming Sin City sequel has suffered another setback after U.S. TV bosses rejected a trailer for the film over actress Eva Green's sexy wardrobe.
The Casino Royale star initially hit headlines in May (14) when officials at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) banned an advertising poster for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, because it featured Green brandishing a gun while wearing a sheer white robe over her bare breasts.
Movie bosses had to re-edit the billboard picture to make the outfit appear less raunchy in order to meet the MPAA's censorship guidelines, but now they are facing the prospect of also having to alter Green's appearance in the trailer for the upcoming film amid concerns from ABC network executives, who have refused to air the preview footage due to Green's attire.
Marketing chiefs at the movie's distributor Dimension Films are appealing the decision. A source tells the New York Daily News, "ABC rejected a trailer, saying Green appears to be naked in the same sheer, white nightgown. Dimension was told to remove the offending footage if they want the trailer to air."
Green previously admitted she was baffled by the furore caused by the sexy film poster, telling Vanity Fair magazine, "I find it a bit odd. It seems like it's all just publicity - a lot of noise for nothing. You have so many more violent things in the movie business and this is kind of soft. I'm not naked. It's suggested. I find it really sexy, actually. It's kind of beautiful. But if it shocks people, I don't know what to do about it. I don't want to upset anybody."
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which co-stars Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke and Bruce Willis, is due to open in cinemas in late August (14).
We don't know for sure if Warner Bros is setting a standalone Batman film to follow its recently announced slate of DC Comics features, as is reported over at Latino Review, but we sure hope that they'll think long and hard about the prospect before setting it into play. What's more, we really hope that Ben Affleck is sure that he wants to commit the next five (or more) years of his life to Bruce Wayne, especially in the immediate shadow of his widely celebrated directorial feature Argo.
Sure, Argo was two years ago now, but it's the last thing Affleck did that anybody has anything to say about — Runner Runner was a wash, and To the Wonder didn't ever actually happen (you're just remembering wrong). When Affleck brought Argo to the public's attention, we realized that this was a filmmaker who had been stowing away some regal talent. When the Academy failed to recognize him as a candidate for Best Director, the masses crowed in defense of our beloved Bostonian. Affleck has maintained steady work throughout his career, but his popularity was born anew with his artful 2012 thriller.
We came to understand Affleck as a man who should be making movies, and of whose movies we'd want to see more and more. In development now for the multihyphenate is his long gestating Live by Night adaptation, which is slated for a 2016 release. But the rest of his foreseeable future is bogged down with DC fare: Batman V Superman (also 2016), Justice League (2017), and now the potential standalone feature The Batman (2019). A five-year span that could be spent developing passion projects... without even the knowledge of how good a Batman Affleck will make.
When it was announced in 2013 that Affleck would be playing Batman in Warner Bros' Man of Steel follow-up, the Internet knew an unprecedented degree of snark. Fans have not yet climbed aboard the Batfleck bandwagon, making the potential trio of Affleck/Wayne films a risk not only for the actor but also the studio.
But ultimately, we're more concerned about Affleck. About what jumping straight from his defining directorial feature into a half-decade of superhero movies will do to his career. We want to see more in the way of Argo and his underappreciated Gone Baby Gone (not so much re: The Town). While we won't cast out his turn(s) as Batman just yet, we're hoping that he still has time to do some more interesting work throughout the next five years... and on.
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Walt Disney Studios via Everett Collection
Okay, Ruffalo. Sell it. Tell us why, with so many properties to choose from and all the money required to breathe life into its leviathan of promising characters, Marvel is "entertaining the idea" of another standalone movie for the Hulk. After all, the first two attempts at a Bruce Banner-centric picture resulted in sour reviews and lackluster box office intake. Ang Lee's maudlin interpretation of the character, as portrayed by Eric Bana in 2003, nearly sapped us of our Spider-Man highs, while Louis Leterrier's lunking, charmless 2008 version left us mourning the days when an Edward Norton headline meant a sure thing (there might not have ever been days like that, but it sure seems like there were at some point). But two years past the Hulk's gallant return to Bixbian form in The Avengers, and you're coming to DigitalSpy with the news that Marvel is considering another go at the rage-filled green giant for a spin-off feature?
All right, we'll hear you out: "There's still nothing definitive, not even a skeletal version of what it would be. I look forward to going down that road, if we could crack that nut." Clearly, you and Marvel alike share our skepticism, which is, in its own way, comforting. As lovers of Banner in his comic book, television series, and Ruffaloan form (and that last bit includes your appearance in the Iron Man 3 stinger, for which you seem to share an affinity: "If they did Iron Man 4 and Banner’s in that, that’d be very cool."), we'd love nothing more than the Hulk granted his cinematic due. But such a complicated character takes patience and plotting... more so than Leterrier hocked at the screen in '08, but not quite as much as Lee wove so dreadfully in '03. A happy medium. Something that the Phase 2-and-on psychology might be able to bring to life.
Seems like you've convinced us, Ruffalo. Maybe there is some hidden gold left to mine for a Hulk movie. Just... be careful this time, okay?
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20th Century Fox Film via Everett Collection
Consider the superhero movie sequel. With the millstone of the characters' origin stories removed from around the collective necks of the filmmakers, they are free to jump right into a rip-roaring premise with plenty of superhuman action bursting from the screen. Fans are eagerly awaiting X-Men: Days of Future Past for exactly that reason... we've already seen two different origin movies for the the mutants, so let's get on with the time-bending heroics.
Why, then, is it that so many superhero sequels don’t live up to their promise? More importantly, what it is about the ones that do that make them rise above the others? Let's take a look at what anyone making a superhero sequel after decade's worth of examples both good and bad.
Don't Waste Time Rehashing What We Already Know
Just trust that we saw the origin story movie. There's no need to tell us who the characters are and why they're important. Anyone that needs to know what's happening isn't the target audience anyway… and they can be brought up to speed by whatever friend dragged them along to the theater. If you really, really feel the need to catch everyone up then just do what Superman II did and stick a montage with the opening credits.
The awesome thing about being past the origin story is that we can get right into the action. Even if the new story is going to take a while to set up, don't lead off with that. Don't meander into things like Iron Man 2. Don't give us action that we don't fully understand like in Thor: The Dark World. The hero doesn't even have to be involved. Go right for the jugular like they did in X2: X-Men United, with Nightcrawler ransacking the White House, or Christopher Nolan's dual threats of setting up first the Joker in The Dark Knight and Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.
Find a Great Bad Guy
As Nolan showed, really any superhero sequel is going to live or die by the choice of the super-nemesis. By unleashing Heath Ledger's Joker in the second film, filmmakers didn't force audiences to wait for him while the story tried to get Bruce Wayne to the point of being Batman. Similarly, the first great superhero sequel, Superman II, did likewise by giving us Terence Stamp's awesome General Zod from the beginning to the end. Don't make them weak or sympathetic either. Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 is a solid sequel, but it suffers from making us feel sorry for Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus. And, don't get us started on Arnold Schwarzenegger's depressed Mr. Freeze in Batman & Robin.
Just Don't Find Too Many
It sounds great… now that the superhero has been established; let's start throwing a bunch of his comic book foils at him in the movies. After all, most superheroes have a whole group of villains that they've been doing battle with for years. Only, it never works that way. Diverting attention away from one main bad guy just muddles the plot… and it's already touch-and-go whether there's enough of that anyway. Going the Spider-Man 3 route where it was Green Goblin and Sandman and Venom gets confusing and feels lazy. It doesn't mean that there can't be other bad guys around, especially when we're talking about seminal characters like Lex Luthor, we just need to have one at the center that leads us into a fitting (and ginormous) climactic battle.
Mo' Superheroes, Mo' Better
It's not an accident that The Avengers was such a smash… we like to see the costumed crowd playing together. It reminds us of the greatest part of comic books where we could imagine all of these spectacular personalities in a universe where they would sometimes collide. That's the same reason that X-Men fans screamed and shouted when fan favorites like The Beast and Gambit were slow to join the fun (if they ever got to at all) in the Bryan Singer films. It doesn't even have to be characters that are household names. The average person didn't know Black Widow before Iron Man 2 or Falcon before Captain America: The Winter Soldier… but the people that do are the ones that help create a buzz for the movie.
Even a bad sequel, can provide at least a few minutes of interest with a crossover… like The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Marvel diehards that saw that one did so just to see Mr. Fantastic and The Thing interact with the metallic former Galactus henchman… and the fact that the movie actually made money proves the point. Whether they like the choice of Ben Affleck as the Dark Knight in Zack Snyder's Batman vs. Superman, you can bet that superhero fans everywhere are still going to line up to see the DC Comics' titans go at it. (And, ok, to see Gal Gadot in her Wonder Woman outfit.)
Walt Disney Studios
When you think about it, superheroes can be a pretty fickle bunch. Through several decades of comic books and the dozens of comic book films released over the years, it's become abundantly clear that there's no such thing as a binding alliance. Comic book characters switch over the moral dividing line so often that keeping track of it all can be headache-enducing, a fact that one Captain America knows all too well. In the upcoming sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap sees himself facing off against an old friend, and in his honor, we've decided to list our favorite comic book movie frienemies.
Harry Osborne and Peter Parker (Spider-Man)High school best buds turned mortal foes, Peter Parker and Harry Osborne are the original frenemies. When Harry discovers that Spider-Man killed his father Norman (the OG Green Goblin), and later finds out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, the news sets him on a raging path of revenge. Harry picks up the mantle of the Green Goblin and tries to put a stop to the webslinger's heroics once and for all.
Loki and Thor (Thor)Being second sucks, doesn't it? Brothers Thor and Loki were always thick as thieves, but under the surface, certain injustices began to slowly gnaw away at their friendship. Jealousy over Thor's birthright plus the discovery of his true frost-giant origins were enough to send the already mischievous Loki into full villain mode.
Dr. Connors and Peter Parker (The Amazing Spider-Man)Peter Parker and Dr. Connors had a budding Teacher/protege relationship in The Amazing Spider-Man, but Connors was slowly driven crazy by his limb re-growth serum and becomes the Lizard. When the Lizard decides to turn the whole of New York into gigantic reptilian creatures, Spidey had to take the respected scientist down.
Andrew, Matt, and Steve (Chronicle)There's nothing like finding alien superpowers to make a friendship stronger. In Max Landis' Chronicle, Andrew, Matt and Steve bond after accidentally obtaining powers, but Andrew gets consumed by his new found abilities and his terrible home life. After possibly killing Steve, Andrew goes on a rampage through the streets of Seattle, and it's up to Matt to stop him before more people get hurt.
Todd and Dave (Kick-Ass 2)In the sequel to Kick-Ass, the eponymous hero continues to wage his inept war against crime, but when his best friend Todd feels left out of the superheroics, he almost unwittingly becomes a henchmen of Christopher Mintz-Plasse's The Motherfu****, and inadvertantly get's Kick-Ass' father killed. Things between the two are reconciled at the end, but there are some things you probably shouldn't forgive.
Magneto and Professor X (X-Men: First Class)Did I say Harry and Peter were the original frenemies? Nope, that honor clearly goes to Magneto and Professor X. While Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier were originally united in their fight for Mutant rights in the 60's, Professor X sought more peaceful methods, while Magneto was very much an ends-justifies-the-means type of guy, and the two have been at each others throats ever since. They still have mutual respect and affection for one another, but it's buried under years of hate.
Mystique and Professor X (X-Men: First Class)Wait, hold on. Did I say Magneto and Professor X were the original frienemies? Well, according to X-Men: First Class, the good Professor knew Mystique back when they were both children. The two were basically siblings growing up until Raven started to side with Magneto's more forceful ideas about Mutant rights.
Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne (Batman Forever)Harvey Dent was a by-the-books district attorney that protected Gotham with law and order, while allowing Batman clean up whatever scum slipped out of the court and onto the streets. Their tag-team was broken up when Dent's face was burned by a disgruntled crime boss in the middle of a court proceeding, and Dent is driven insane by his disfigurement, becoming the villain Two Face.
Sabertooth and Wolverine (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)Bound by blood and death, Wolverine and Sabertooth were half-brothers that spent the better part of two centuries fighting through American military conflicts across the globe. After being recruited by William Stryker to join a group of mutant military group called Team X and carrying out some wet work on behalf of the government, Logan leaves the team, feeling dismayed by all of the killing, and Sabertooth sees this as the ultimate betrayal.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson launched a revolutionary new aircraft on Friday (28Jan14) and vowed to fly it from "pole to pole" around the world. The rocker, who is a qualified pilot, invested a chunk of his fortune in the project by Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV) to create the helium-filled aircraft which caries cargo and can stay in the air for up to three weeks at a time.
Dickinson branded the invention a "game-changer" and compared it to the futuristic green aircraft featured in kids' TV show Thunderbirds.
The HAV304 is due to make its first flight in the U.K. later this year (14), and Dickinson wants to use it for a headline-grabbing stunt. He tells Britain's BBC Radio 4, "It seizes my imagination. I want to get in this thing and fly it pole to pole... We'll fly over the Amazon at 20 foot, over some of the world's greatest cities and stream the whole thing on the internet."
Dickinson adds of the aircraft, "It's a game changer, in terms of things we can have in the air and things we can do. The air ship has always been with us, it's just been waiting for the technology to catch up."